Tutorial: Backup and Restore

Frequently Asked Questions/Answers, Tutorials, and Common How To's

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Introduction

Postby WhiteRider » Tue May 11, 2010 7:31 am

Introduction

PokerTracker 3 has built in options to allow you to Backup and Restore all the information it uses.
This is primarily to allow you to recover all of your data in case of hard disk failure or other such problem, or for safety when making manual changes to a database or your computer, but it also provides a way of transferring your configuration to another computer or transferring or aggregating (merging) notes and/or filters between databases.
Backups can include your configuration files as well as your databases.

PT3 backup files are compressed as zip files to minimize the required disk space, but for the most secure backup you should keep multiple backups (maybe rotate through 3 filenames so that you are not relying on a single backup) and store your backup files away from your computer as well as (or instead of) on your hard disk.
You can move these files to other computers using a USB drive or external hard disk, or any other external storage medium.

The Backup and Restore process is platform independent, meaning that you can restore from a backup made on a different operating system, and allowing an easy way to transfer information between computers. You can transfer between PC and Mac in this way.

    Note: You should NOT restore PokerTracker.cfg on a different operating system from where the backup was made - this WILL cause problems, most especially between Mac and PC - between different versions of Windows won't cause serious problems. See the next post for more information.
It will also work between different versions of PostgreSQL, although restoring in an older version than the backup was made with may potentially cause problems. There are no known issues with this but it has not been tested extensively.

Once you have a backup file PT3 can restore any or all of the information saved in it at any time.

The Backup and Restore options are accessed from the File menu.

file - backup.png
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  • Click here for information about making a backup
  • Click here for information about restoring from a backup
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Making a Backup

Postby WhiteRider » Tue May 11, 2010 8:05 am

Making a Backup

To open the System Backup window select File > Backup from the PT3 menu.

file - backup.png
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When the System Backup window opens it will look like this, with the default options selected.

backup.png


Settings

The Settings section allows you to specify which elements of PT3 you wish to backup.

The Databases section lists all of the databases that PT3 is connected to, with the Default database (the one that is loaded when PT3 launches) pre-selected.
Here you can select which databases, if any, are included in the backup. If you only want to save your settings, such as when transferring notes or filters to another database, you can de-select all databases.


The Optional Files section allows you to choose which configuration options to store, as well as whether to export notes and/or filters from the selected database and include these in the backup.

    The first 6 options here are selected by default as they store general PT3 settings.

  • PokerTracker.cfg
    This is your main PokerTracker 3 configuration file and contains information specific to the installation of PT3 on this computer.
    Including this in your backup will allow you to restore your exact setup, but if you restore it on another computer where you may have your poker sites installed in different locations, or have different databases, then it may restore some settings which are incorrect for the other computer.
    This option should be included in backups intended to allow recovery of your whole setup, but should not be restored to another computer, especially one with a different operating system as this will cause problems.
  • Custom Layouts
    This option will store any changes you have made to your HUD setup, including all Profiles and layouts. :!:
  • Custom Reports
    This option will store all of the Custom Reports configured in PT3. :!:
  • Custom Stats
    This option will store all of the Custom Stats configured in PT3. :!:
      :!: Note: Only Profiles, Reports and Custom Stats which are currently in PT3 will be backed up.
      If you have exported any Profiles, Reports or Custom Stats to files then those files are not included in the backup. If you export a report but do not remove it from PT3 then it will be included in the backup - it is only if you export but then remove it from PT3 that it won't be backed up.

      :!: Note: Custom stats that are used in the HUD or reports will not be saved as part of the HUD or report backup, so be sure to include the Custom Stats option too.
  • Poker Site Config Files
    This option will store PT3's configuration files related to specific poker sites.
    This includes things like any changes to PokerStars satellite tournament prizes, or Everest table sizes. If you haven't edited any site.cfg files yourself then it is unlikely to be needed, but the files are very small so there is no reason not to include this when backing up the optional files.
    Note: This will not store any configuration of your poker site software - specifically it will not save settings related to enabling writing of hand history files, or where they are written to. If you need to re-install any of your poker sites then you will need to re-enable this yourself - see the Configuration Guides in the Documentation.
  • Buddies
    Including this option will save information about your PT3 "buddies".
    The final 2 options relate to information which is stored in each database separately. If you select these options the information will be read from all databases selected in the Databases list on the left and stored in the Backup file. This can then be restored into other databases - see Transferring Notes/Filters to another database.
    If you are only intending to restore backed up databases and are not transferring notes or filters to other databases then you will not need these options.
  • Aggregated Notes
    Stores all Notes (player notes, session notes, hand notes, etc) from all selected databases.
  • Aggregated Filters
    Stores all Filters from all selected databases.

The Backup Options section has some general options.

  • Backup Databases
    If this option is enabled then the selected databases will be included in the backup.
    If you only want to store the selected Optional Files then you can untick this.
  • Close PokerTracker When Complete
    If this option is enabled then PT3 will be closed down when the backup process completes.
  • System Shutdown When Complete
    If this option is enabled then your computer will be shutdown when the backup process completes. This is useful if you want to start a backup at the end of the day or when you are going out, and have your computer turn off when it is finished.
    If you enable this option please ensure that you save all of your other documents and anything else important on your computer. PT3 will not force a shutdown if unsaved documents are still open so nothing should be lost in this case, but this will mean that your computer won't turn off.

The Disk Space section gives an estimate of the disk space required to make the Backup. Note that the TEMP drive is defined by the TEMP environment variable in Windows, and will usually be the same drive that Windows is installed on (usually C:).


When you have selected your preferred backup options click the Backup Now button to start the backup process.
You will be asked where to save the backup file to - choose a location you will remember so that you can find your backups when you need them.


Status

The Status section will then display the progress of the backup and any problems encountered.
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Restoring from a Backup

Postby WhiteRider » Tue May 11, 2010 11:51 am

Restoring from a Backup

To open the System Restore window select File > Restore from the PT3 menu.
You will then be prompted to select a PT3 backup file. When you have opened a file you will see the System Restore window with the selected backup file displayed.

restore full.png

If you want to change which file to restore from you can click the ... button alongside the filename and browse to select a different file.

Exactly which options are available depends on what was backed up, but you can choose to restore some or all of the information in the backup.
The backup options are described in the previous post so I won't repeat them here, except to say that if you restore PokerTracker.cfg on a different computer to where the backup was made then you may cause problems if your setup is not exactly the same on this computer. In particular, you should NOT restore a PokerTracker.cfg file from a different operating system as this will almost certainly cause problems.

The Restore Options define what PT3 will do if the information being restored is already in PT3.

  • Always Prompt Before Overwrite
    If this option is enabled then PT3 will ask for confirmation before overwriting any information (specified by the following options) which already exists.
  • Overwrite Existing Optional Files
    If this option is enabled then PT3 will replace the current optional files with those selected to be restored from the backup file.
    This will not merge information in any optional files, so if you restore a custom stats file for instance, it will replace any custom stats you currently have with those from the backup.
  • Overwrite existing DBs
    If this option is enabled then if a database to be restored has the same name as an existing database the existing database will be overwritten.
    If 'Always Prompt' is enabled then you will be given the option to ignore or overwite the database, or enter a new name for the database to be restored into so that you can keep both the existing and the backed up database.
  • Include DBs in Current Configuration
    If this option is enabled then any databases restored will be added to PT3's configuration so that they are available via Database > Database Management, Database > Set Active Database, or in the HUD, etc.
  • Use Default Server/Port for DBs
    This tells PT3 to restore databases using the default server and port information. This option should be enabled unless you're restoring into a remote DB with exact parameters of the backup.
  • Use Default User/Pword for DBs
    This tells PT3 to restore databases using the default username and password information. This option should be enabled unless you're restoring into a remote DB with exact parameters of the backup.

The Disk Space section gives you an estimate of how much disk space is needed to restore the options you have selected.

Once you have chosen the information you want to restore click Restore Now to start the process.

The Status section will display the progress of the restore and any problems encountered.

When the restore process completes PT3 needs to restart to complete all the changes.
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Making a full system backup

Postby WhiteRider » Thu May 13, 2010 8:28 am

Making a full system backup

This post explains which options should be used to make a full backup of your PT3 data.


Probably the most common use of the backup/restore process is to make regular backups of your whole PT3 setup in order to be able to recover everything in the event of a serious problem with your computer, such as a hard disk failure or loss of a laptop, or even accidental deletion of critical files.
Another use of such a backup is if you accidentally delete or change one of your custom stats, or a HUD layout, etc., and want to recover your previous version.

How often you choose to do this is a personal preference, but bear in mind that the longer you leave it the more data will be lost should you have a serious computer problem.

Because backing up is intended to prevent data loss in the event of a critical problem you should really store your backup files separate from (or as well as on) your normal hard disk. Of course for full safety (in the event of a fire, for example) this should be in a completely separate location. This applies to all of your important files, not just PT3 data, and this isn't really the place for a full discussion but an Internet search will give you plenty of recommendations and examples.


Making the backup

To save all of your PT3 data you should enable all databases in the Databases list on the left, and leave the default Optional Files enabled.
You do not need to tick the Aggregated Notes or Aggregated Filters options because notes and filters are already stored in the databases, and you're storing all of those anyway (there is no harm in enabling those 2 options as well, but it will make the backup slightly bigger).
Make sure that Backup Databases is enabled in the Backup Options so that your databases are included.

backup full.png

Enable 'Close PokerTracker When Complete' and 'System Shutdown When Complete' if that is what you want to happen after the backup, and click Backup Now to start the backup process.

Be sure to save the backup file to somewhere safe in case you need it when your computer, or its hard disk, is not accessible.


Restoring from the backup

Should the worst happen and you need to recover your whole PT3 setup you should download PT3 again and install and register it (you can look up your code from My Account > Registration Codes), and then use File > Restore to open the backup file. Make sure all of the available options are enabled and click Restore Now.

restore full.png


Should you have a problem with a particular part of PT3 you can just access the backup file from your existing installation and select only the backed up data that you want to recover.
For instance, if you make some changes to a custom statistic and delete something important or find that something doesn't work any more you can restore just the "Custom Stats" part of your backup file and untick all of the other options - this will leave everything else in your setup exactly as it is and just replace the custom stats with the saved version.


    Note: The backup process does not save any files which PT3 does not use directly - this includes the "Processed" folder where the hand histories which have been imported are moved to, and any files you export from PT3 (reports, stats, HUD Profiles, reports or images of graphs, etc.).
    None of these files are critical to the operation of PT3, but may be useful at some point - especially your old hand history files.
    Therefore I would recommend at least making a backup of the PokerTracker 3\Processed folder once in a while - if you compress these files they won't take up much space.
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Transferring to another computer or operating system

Postby WhiteRider » Thu May 13, 2010 10:35 am

Transferring to another computer or operating system

If you want to copy your PokerTracker 3 setup and data to another computer, or save everything to restore after you reformat or upgrade your operating system, then the following backup options are recommended.


Making the backup

Select all of your Databases.
Leave all of the default Optional Files selected except PokerTracker.cfg - this contains system-specific information such as paths to hand history folders, which may well be different on a different operating system, and this can cause problems if restored. In particular you should not restore PokerTracker.cfg on a Mac if it was backed up on a PC (or vice versa) - this will cause problems.
The Aggregated Notes and Aggregated Filters options are not needed because notes and filters are stored within the databases which are already being backed up.

backup transfer.png


Restoring from the backup

On your other computer, or after you have updated your operating system (or whatever) download PT3 again and install and register it (you can look up your code from My Account > Registration Codes), and then use File > Restore to open the backup file. Make sure all of the available options are enabled and click Restore Now.
This will recover all of your PT3 data, and most of the setup. To finish off any configuration install your poker site software and run the Setup Wizard (File > Setup Wizard).

restore transfer.png
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Backing up a single database

Postby WhiteRider » Thu May 13, 2010 10:58 am

Backing up a single database

This post explains how to backup just a database, with no optional files.


If you have a problem in a database in PT3 you may occasionally be asked by one of our support technicians to send them a backup of the database in question for investigation. Your information will be treated in the strictest confidence, it will only be used to investigate the problem and will be deleted afterwards.
You can backup multiple databases in the same way, of course, but I'll just discuss a single database backup here.

To do this, open the System Backup window using File > Backup and untick all options except the database that you wish to backup and the Backup Databases option, then click Backup Now.
Please include your support ticket number (if you have one) in the filename as it makes it much easier to keep track of things.

backup database.png

Your support technician will explain how to send the backup file to them.
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Transferring Notes or Filters to another database

Postby WhiteRider » Thu May 13, 2010 12:24 pm

Transferring Notes or Filters to another database

This post explains how to transfer notes or filters from one (or more) databases to another.


Introduction

Notes (all player, session and hand notes) and Filters (named sets of filters) are stored in the database where they are added, and are only accessible within that database.
Player notes added via the Note Editor in the HUD will be added to all databases that the HUD is configured to use, and player notes in any database that the HUD uses will be shown in the HUD.

If you want to access notes or saved filters in a different database, other than the one they were created in, then you will need to transfer them using the backup/restore mechanism by following these directions.


Making the backup

Open the System Backup window using the File > Backup menu option.
Select the database(s) in which the notes or filters were added from the Databases list on the left.
Untick all of the default Optional Files and enable Aggregated Notes and/or Aggregated Filters as appropriate.
Untick Backup Databases as we don't want to store the database itself, we are just extracting the notes and/or filters.

In the example screenshot below the database A is my existing database which has the notes and filters that I added, and B is a new database that I want to use my notes and filters in.
(For example, maybe A is an old database which has become too big and B is the new one you've created to import just the more recent hand into, but you want to keep all of your player notes from A.)

backup notes filters.png


Restoring from the backup

To load notes or filters from a backup file into a different database you must set the new database to be active using the menu option Database > Set Active Database.
Open the System Restore window using File > Restore and select the backup file.
If you made the backup as described above then the only restore options available should be Aggregated Notes and/or Aggregated Filters. If you made a full backup then other options may be available too, but for the purposes of only transferring notes/filters everything else should be de-selected.
Click Restore Now to start the process.
Click "Yes" to continue and "Yes" to "Merge Aggregated Notes/Filters into Active Database".
This will not overwrite any notes or filters, it will simply add those from the backup.

PT3 will then restart to finalize the changes.

restore notes filters.png
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Backing up Configuration Files

Postby WhiteRider » Fri May 14, 2010 7:20 am

Backing up Configuration Files

This post explains how to backup just your configuration files, without any databases.


If you have a problem in PT3 you may occasionally be asked by one of our support technicians to send them certain configuration files for investigation.
One way to do this is with the Backup mechanism via the menu option File > Backup.

On the System Backup window de-select all of your databases on the left and untick 'Backup Databases'.
The default Optional Files will already be ticked - if you have been asked for specific options then de-select the others, but if in doubt leave the default Optional Files ticked and your support technician will be able to extract the ones they need.

backup optional files.png


Click Backup Now to make the backup, and make a note of the filename and where you save it to - this should be nearly instant when backing up just optional files.

If you have an existing support ticket please attach the backup file to it.
Otherwise, create a new Support ticket and describe your problem then attach the backup file.
See the Tutorial: Submitting a Bug Report for more information on submitting bug reports.
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